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Grand Opening Of Planned Parenthood Health Facility In Oakland County, Michigan

Sen. Gary Peters

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to mark the occasion of the grand opening of a new Oakland County, Michigan facility for Planned Parenthood, an organization that I stand with proudly in spirit, purpose and commitment.

Never before in recent history have we witnessed such feverish and brazen attacks on the reproductive and health care rights of women. Planned Parenthood, in particular, has been unfairly targeted in this war on women.

More than ever, our communities and families need organizations like Planned Parenthood. In fact, 97 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are basic, preventive health care, like annual exams, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing and counseling, and procedures to address pre-cancerous conditions of the cervix. Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood Mid- and South-Michigan patients are women between the ages of 20 and 40, many of whom struggle without health insurance. Planned Parenthood is there for them.

I especially applaud the opening of this facility because for more than five years there has been no Title X family planning provider in Oakland County that serves everyone, regardless of ability to pay. In 2010, Planned Parenthood served 5,420 Oakland County patients who had to travel to other counties to receive basic and preventive health care. This means critical federal dollars were not being spent in Oakland County, an area of significant need. It is time for Oakland County to get its fair share of federal dollars, and for it's citizens to receive much-needed reproductive health services in their own community.

In conclusion, we need to stop playing politics with women's health care. We need to get our struggling families the services they need. This facility is a first step in the right direction for women and families in our region.